TPR, short for Trinity Park Radio, just released a live album playfully titled TPR Comes Alive. Many nuances throughout this album make it an unique adventure from Cleveland to Chicago (more on that later), and these fun loving college guys have etched themselves a niche in the live music scene. Some live albums overshadow the band with long drawn out jams, and don’t highlight the personality of the band and focus on their ability. TPR connects with their audience in a more intimate way, making them feel as if they are part of the show. By recording in a cozy setting, the listener feels like they’re one of the people in the crowd.
Right off the bat, “King of the Park” hits you in the face with pure adrenaline charged rock and roll while “Cleveland Gary” shows a different side of the band – a softer, more emotional side. “You’re on Fire” is a catchy little number with a fun repeating title phrase which speeds up to astronomical speeds, bringing out a silliness from the band members as they get increasingly excited and deliver that energy through the speakers. TPR also put a hip spin on a grade school classic, the famous “Stop Drop and Roll.” These lads added rock ‘ n before the roll and all are left singing along. That wasn’t the only point in the album where the lyrics were ironic, the title “I Love Dick’s….Sporting Goods”, is another perfect example.
The album closes out with “Carl Winslow,” yes, that Carl Winslow, the Chicago mailman from the ABC hit “Family Matters.” It’s a delightfully hokey song telling stories of Steve Urkel and others cast members, but the music itself is the most catchy part, although you may find yourself confused by the band saying Carl Winslow, as the music doesn’t fit the character at all – a middle class, mid-America man – does not translate to hard kicking guitar riffs and slamming drums. Again, this fits the over riding motif of the album, with the titles and the lyrics making the listener believe they are going to hear one thing, but the music delivering another.
Listening to TPR Comes Alive, the amount of effort put in becomes clear straight away. You can tell they don’t take themselves too seriously, but they are far from a joke. TPR is having fun toeing that line, and if they stay they the course it can only mean a bright future for these guys from Upstate New York.
Key Tracks: Cleveland Gary, King of the Park, You’re on Fire